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  1. Mike – what a great interview. Thank you so very much. Is there any possible way that you could provide a copy of your letter that you gave your bishop and friends detailing your story? I would love to read it.

    1. This guy has blown his credibility in the last pod 3 . How did he know blow by blow the conversation between the wife and 22 thousand dollar tithing guy . ???? After he got his fake recommend . I’m going to boldly say This guy is a sensationalist and an opertunist . John this is a dodgy podcast .

      1. I agree with your assessment that Mike is a sensationalist and an opportunist for the same reasons that you expressed. Mike dramatizes conversations, that he was not part of, in a manner as if he were right there when the conversations took place. Neither was I compelled to believe his feelings about the LGBTQIA were as sincere as he dramatized them to be. I don’t find him to be a trust worthy human but I can put that aside from his videos. The parts of the videos that I have seen, so far, speak for themselves.

        1. How do you feel about general authorities sharing stories (even fabrications) that they were not a part of for the purpose of building faith? This is done at virtually every general conference. and the stories are posted in the church magazines to be shared again and again.

          Paul H. Dunn was a fan favorite for his powerful stories back in the day. It was only after it was known that he had lied or exaggerated most of has stories that TSCC cut him loose. Before that (BTW why did they not discern the truth?) they were happy to let him teach, and lead people astray.

          1. I am disgusted by anyone using lies, and dishonest tactics to mislead people and I especially do not make acceptations for religious leaders.

            Even though I don’t trust that Mike is a straight forward honest individual, I do support his undercover video taping. Videos don’t lie as long as they have not been altered. The church is a fraud. Fraud is a crime and the church has millions of victims. I feel that the church needs to be exposed for all the harm that it doing. Police detectives do undercover work to expose crime. This is reasonable to me.

          2. The whole LDS Church was and is still based on lies — that is what is disgusting! I love Mike’s authenticity in all of his words and expressions. I felt John took so much time asking and asking and asking for him to defend the way he goes about doing things. It felt to me, that John was trying to make himself and the way he does things out-shine Mike’s ways. I’m glad he mellowed a bit in the end.

            I appreciated this interview, and I really like Mike’s feelings, beliefs and attitudes. He really cares enough to bring these things out in the light. If people are going to stay LDS – they will, no matter what. If they need and want truth, and want to leave, they can and will leave. Too many LDS people are being abused, bullied, interviewed, molested, paying tithing they can’t afford, hungry and without while buildings are being made, temples that Jesus would be ashamed of , while others starve, miserably happy plural wives, and LDS women in the church who are terrified of that potential afterlife, LGBTQ suicides, high rates of depression in women, patriarchy, etc. etc. etc. There’s no end to the LDS trauma, and EVERYONE deserves to know, or at least be offered the truth and you know they won’t get it from LDS leaders.

  2. I hate all TSCC holds all the cards in this. Considering the colossal lies members are told during their lifetime., well TSCC you reap what you sow.You lie and deceive others this is what you get. New Name Noah.

    1. I’m going to find The Godmakers and check it out for myself. Not sure how you can be a “lying scumbag” and have 90% of what you say to be true.

  3. This is one of the best Mormon Stories Interviews I have have heard. It contains a good amount of detail that I did not know about NewNameNoah (Mike Norton). His is a remarkable history of activism, shining a light on the Mormon Church, a “religion” that originated as a sex cult and evolved into a multi-billion dollar real estate empire. NewNameNoah’s story is has many elements that will be familiar to your own Mormon story, however his fearlessness and commitment to getting the truth out goes far beyond what most of us Exmos would dare. Kudos and much respect for Mike for exposing the preposterous cult rituals that go on in Mormon Temples.

    1. You won’t find it . He won’t post it because this guy is exadursting . He is creating drama and embellishing his experience . And although there is much truth , he is very obviously exadurating . Just listen to his Narative about other peoples conversations that he’s not even present at .

      1. I got the same impression: this guy is a very interesting character vacillating between total candor and total fabrication. Nothing in between.

  4. Right. Being deceitful, lying, forging signatures, taping and making public things that are sacred to many- you claim those are the ways to make change. I detest your methods and think they are deplorable. I think your actions are reprehensible.

    1. You’re probably not alone in thinking Mike’s methods are deplorable.

      What do you think of the results?

      For instance, kids who say Mike’s actions saved their life?

      1. Pardon me for being skeptical that a kid from one of Mike’s stories was going to take his life. Note that Mike has been doing this long before being an LGBT activist pretty much gives anyone the moral high ground to do whatever they want. Yes, we all dislike suicide. Does that mean we have to like Mike calling stake presidents, recording the calls, mocking them throughout, and ending the call calling them a p**sy? This is someone we want to follow and help make change?

        I’m with Cherylsays on this one.

    2. Is it any more right when the church is deceitful, lies, hides evidence, tries to manipulate the faithful and uses things that people hold sacred as a way to control them?

    3. Being deceitful, lying… Are you actually talking about the Mormon Church?

      Kudos to this guy for stepping up and trying to help people see the church for what it is… A Money Making Cult! Nobody should take their own life over a bunch of old, white, power hungry men. He is not the monster he is running from, he is trying to expose the church for what it really is. .And how darn bizarre it is. Once a person can get out and away from it, it’s CRAZY looking back at how brainwashed people are inside the LDS church.

    4. Exposing the LDS temple rites to public view is an ethical step towards countering Mormon coercion:

      Plenty of people are coerced to go through the temple rituals. In Mormon society, children are raised to look to the temple as the only acceptable life path. They are taught to direct and manage their sexual desires and actions exclusively to intimacy that is first legitimised by a marriage sealed in the temple. So, in Mormonism, the only way to engage in normal biological behavior is by first marrying in the temple.

      The temple ceremony is not super special to Mormonism, it is largely a collection of phrases and handshakes borrowed from Masonry, where we are to promise to not reveal these phrases and handshakes outside the temple. The endowment requires a commitment of all we have to the church. The sealing directs our wedding vows as vows to the church, not to each other.

      The endowment and the sealing are highly manipulative and teach deeply unhealthy and damaging behaviors and attitudes. They teach that our most private relationships are to be centered around the institutional church, they teach sexism and that women are to be permanently subservient to men.

      The strange and foreign rites in the temple are so ridiculous that they promote a psychological effect compelling participants to try to justify their participation later. Rather than being a clear but more beautified presentation of the Sermon on the Mount and faith in Christ, they are a collection of absurdities designed to extract loyalty from the participants.

      The absurdity of the temple rites cannot be adequately taught in temple preparation because that would expose them to the cognition we have in more detached, rational settings. Imagine children being taught the handshakes openly at a public park, or members talking openly about them in McDonald’s. The problem with that is that people would realize they are an absurd manipulation technique and not special.

      It is the super special sacred “not secret” nature of the temple rites that insulate our brains from recognising their manipulative nature. Exposing them to public view allows people to see them and consider them outside of a coercive setting and that is a very good thing.

  5. I’m surprised his wife stayed in the church at all after her negative reaction at her own temple endowment and wedding.

    I’m not totally comfortable with his tactics but I generally think it’s a good thing to have the temple videos out in public.

    They make me a little bit uncomfortable but more because of their content, not what he’s done or how he’s done it. It makes me cringe at what family and friends have not only submitted to but, for whatever reason, embraced as godly and holy. And supposedly ancient ritual. It’s frankly bizarre and cultish as hell. I have a hard time believing even the Masons did anything like that. Maybe something like the druids but more weird and without the sacrifice?

    While I’ve no doubt Joseph Smith lied — and also at least Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery— it’s not clear to me now on whose shoulders the “lie” should rest today. Maybe more on Mormon apologists like FAIR, who should know better.

    For the most part, the Mormon church leaders and members seem to believe it’s all really true, so they can’t really be accused of lying. Unless subconsciously to themselves.

    In general, the G.A.’s seem both clueless and indifferent to Mormon history, and simply buy into the collective church testimony and narrative. And into their own authority and control. And into the ‘gospel topic essays’ they commission somebody else to write. It really is their entire universe and they really do believe it’s all from “God.” That overrides everything else. But does anybody at the top even know enough to be lying about it?

    Is there, for instance, a copy of a missing Spaulding manuscript hidden in the bowels of the archives that somebody knows about?

    It does make me more curious about what it is exactly that Joseph Smith and Rigdon and Cowdery pulled off, and how they did it. There really is a stroke of manipulative genius at work— not least this temple stuff. And Moroni 10:4.

  6. Congratulations to mike for his great interview and for telling ,how it really is.I had discovered his findings long before mike and the CES letter . I have kept all my findings to myself , but it was great to hear how someone else,had also dug deep into church history.for instance when the12 discovered that no one had actually handled the plates 3 of them resigned . I have walked over the MMM site in Utah and felt sick to my stomach ,how could Mormons havemurdered 120 men,women and children,but left 17 babies,because they would not know what happened.It proved to me that the church could not be true along with all the other history I have discovered.The sage–Christian.

  7. Thank you Mike and John, this was such a very interesting interview and it really is such a breath of fresh air to have more and more real truths coming out and being brought to light about the claims of Mormonism, l can sense mikes honesty and sincerity and we need more interviews about the truth claims so we can try and put an end and stop to further hurt and pain that the church can inflict on members through simply not being completely or as near to honest about the history, thanks jon and mike. god bless you both on your spiritual journeys and your families.

  8. Thank you, John and Mike, for this interview.
    I think it is important to have more insight into what drives people to moralize and or justify their tactics of disseminating information to the public particularly in the areas of religion and or spirituality. It highlights how people hear and find understanding in different ways. It also shows the deep pain and suffering people endure when raised in a CULT ( Yes I will say it) and attempt to unravel their programming.
    I cannot speak as a convert but only as someone who was raised in the Church, reluctantly attended BYU, was horrified and traumatized by the temple ceremony on my wedding day and felt very conflicted raising my own family in the Church. Of course, I eventually left.
    If transparency had existed of Joseph Smiths’ practices, his false claims to innocent believers of his “translations”, his control of resources and silencing of peoples voices via the temple rituals and the perpetuated false agenda by the LDS Church leaders over the years I doubt my grandparents, parents or myself would ever have been members. And you know what? We would still have helped people in need and had good childhood memories. Those deeds and experiences are not owned by the LDS Church.
    This interview stressed that the Church was negative and positive in peoples lives. But then that can be said for many things from mass murderers to someone who suffocates with love. Mikes passion appears to be driven by righteous anger and his interests in sleuthing, going undercover and collecting “intel” to expose facts and protect the innocent. Shocking and violating to some. We are more used to these tactics being used in politics or solving crimes. But then is it not a crime to violate the innocence and vulnerability of the human soul in their desire to understand and know their Creator or why they exist? I find these to be fragile and deeply intertwined to the emotional and psychological health of the human experience.
    John, I find your passion shared via Mormon Stories to have as much anger, trauma, and pain as I hear from Mike but use different methods of expressions. Yours are public. You have taken your listeners along for your very personal journey of trying to hold on and make some sense of the nonsensical, testing the right to the fairness of questioning and asking for transparency, enduring the humiliation of excommunication and picking up the pieces of your life transitioning to the unknown. Your methods work for some and offend others. Both of you have saved lives and caused a deeper entrenchment of those who are not ready to change.
    Similar to the American Revolution. The whole thing was illegal. But it took some who penned and signed the Declaration of Independence and others who took up their muskets, mounted their horses and went into battle with the cries of freedom or death. All have value if the cause is just!

  9. John….your incredible bias and condescending judgement of this mans “tactics”, a word choice that betrays your self righteousness was so rude! The third time you came at him with the question of weighing his methods against his results, your frustration was through the roof, saying something like…maybe you’ll understand if I put it like this. Your tone implied you thought he was an idiot ! It was so insulting to his intelligence. He answered the question , so patiently every way to Sunday, in spite of how insulting your manor and words were.
    You kept trying to catch yourself or back peddle when you tipped your hand too far, by saying, “whatever” (and your audience reacted), wasn’t convincing. You were speaking out of both sides of your mouth.
    ….you can’t be expected to keep your emotions and opinions hidden, but really, it was more your negative judgement of him that wasn’t veiled at al, even by prefacing your questions with ” some would say…” There were a lot of “why” questions which are an attack.
    The 2nd episode was so painful to listen to, as you cranked up the pace of the interview by constantly and impatiently cutting him off, saying, no no, don’t talk about that now…..talking really fast. You added so much anxiety to the process.
    It’s too bad because this is a great guest if you could have just got past your intolerance for someone who has expressed his agenda in a way that you wouldn’t have. It doesn’t make you better or more ethical than him.

    1. “There were a lot of “why” questions which are an attack.”

      I’ve noticed some people feel that way. I had to learn to stop asking certain people that question because I realized they were feeling attacked.

      I do ask myself that question constantly and I really appreciate it when someone asks me “why” I think, believe, say or do something.

      I thought John’s interview style was superb. He’s a brilliant person in my opinion.

      1. This reply is for Jay….

        Johns value as a person or the invaluable contribution he has made to Mormons transitioning out of Mormonism is not in question here. He is a remarkable man who has my deepest appreciation and respect.

        Having said that, I believe that he is a big enough man to receive the honest reaction and feedback of his listeners. I fully expect that he has the maturity to consider it , at least to see if there is anything of value there for him. I think he welcomes his listeners being real with him.

        There are a miriad of ways to gather information and validate another without using the attacking nature of starting a query with ‘why’ , which naturally puts a person on the defensive. …any communication 101 class will teach you that.

        1. I agree that the ‘why’ question does put most people on the defensive.

          Not me.

          If you’ve noticed, most kids thru a phase where they ask why about everything. Why? They want to learn. It’s a very natural question.

          I think you’ll find if you ask children why, they’ll gladly offer an answer. But, once they’ve learned to be defensive, to doubt their own thoughts, to fear being wrong – well, then why becomes an attack.

          Give it a try. Ask yourself why. And then answer. You’ll find it’s not so bad, I think.

    2. Angie you need to understand John is not speaking and questioning on behalf of himself . He often plays devils advocate for the sake of a wide varied audience . He strives to be as secular and inclusive of every mind set as possible . It’s his job to push back .. this is nessessary to have a balanced outcome . You seem to have not mentioned the parells where John agreed with some of his opinions . Also we have all heard the usual church alternative history for dummies so much it’s becoming like a broken record . John had to steer him back on track because let’s face it , the guy goes on and on to the point of ( I believe ) exadurating and even fabricTion at times

      1. I am not suggesting that he not play devils advocate to give a balanced view and ask the questions his diverse listeners are wanting. I’m referring to when he clearly let his own bias turn into a punishing , irritated, judgemental scolding. You sound plenty intelligent enough to be able to distinguish where this was happening.. This set of interviews was dripping with example after example of when that started happening. John is not so fragile that he can not have this pointed out. These are not his proudest moments as an interviewer, I’m sure he’d agree. And this is not to say that he had better form in other parts. It was a real mixed bag.

    3. I agree with Angie that it was a little cringy to hear John keep asking the same question repeatedly and obviously try to hurry the pace. That said, Mike did tend to wander off the question often, however, I usually found myself very interested in hearing his wanderings. It’s got to be challenging trying to host a live event, get the important topics covered all within a relatively short amount of time. My opinion is that if you feel like he’s not answering the question after the 2nd attempt – just move on. All in all it was a fantastic interview!

      1. I agree. Also pained me a little to think of Mikes demons he lives with. Although he seemed a little narcissistic at times, his brain is obviously constantly barraged with noise. To be married 3 times, have to take Xanax and Ambien every night to shut off the brain, live places for months at a time with family not knowing where you are and under an assumed identity? So sorry this seems to have completely consumed his life. I’m sure he’s helped a lot of folks.

        And John…know when to get off your high horse! It seems you’ve been a little grumpy in some of the past few interviews.

    4. Wow! I so agree with Angie. I have always had so much respect for John until this interview. I was so uncomfortable listening to his angry, condescending questioning of this man. Not everyone is going to approach things the same way as you John and your intolerance of him doing things differently then you think they should be done was so apparent. I think it’s incredibly brave of Mike to bring these things to light and save people from having to expierence the shock of something they have no idea that they are getting in to. I also applaud the way he makes it possible for a parent to be at their child’s wedding because it is absolutely deplorable for the church to exclude a parent from this special event for any reason! I think Mike has a heart of gold and I love the way he doesn’t tip toe around these issues afraid of offending the poor little church that is destroying many people’s lives. You should continue to do things the way you see fit and respect others like Mike that are more courageous in their tactics.

  10. When I first came across MS, I found John too ‘Mormony’ for me – being a convert and non-American. When I came across Mike Norton, I thought he was sinister and uncompromising. He scared me, frankly, and I didn’t like what he was doing.

    Both positions made me uncomfortable, but I was so full of cognitive dissonance, sorrow and outrage that I persisted in my efforts to uncover what it meant to be a TBM with serious questions, and I came to appreciate both of your journeys, and I am grateful for your compassion and intelligence.

    So, thank you both for sharing your pain, and for the work that you do.

    We have to be able to look our grandchildren in the eye some day, and say, *We didn’t know*. Now that we know better, we have to do better. We are here for you, and being gay, bi- or anything in-between, is just fine with us.

    I have come to despise the church. I never thought I’d say that.

    Elder Oaks, I hope you are reading this, and composing your public apology. It’s the least you can do if you care about your legacy, which includes your grandchildren.

  11. Love this interview! Well done John and Mike.
    Mike, I’m so glad you mentioned Asperger’s. When I heard you say that everything clicked and I totally got you and where you are coming from, and I have to say, I respect your motives and your sincerity.
    I did have an interesting thought that I would love to pose. I often think that it is so much easier to criticize others than to really clean up our own acts — it is for me anyway. But when I heard you often repeat wondering what Jesus would do with funds in particular in reference to the church and salaries, donations, etc. or the Walton family it made me wonder how that related to you making your fortune on bail bonds and check cashing. It seems that those are businesses that profit from charging exorbitant interest from the very most downcast, uneducated, and hard-pressed members of society in their times of greatest need. I wonder if you have asked yourself how those businesses would pass the “What would Jesus do?” test.
    This seems more critical than I intended it to be. Not trying to be critical — just wanting to point out something that struck me as interesting.
    Thanks for the great interview.

  12. John,

    You looked and sounded incredulous when Mike said that he believe that the LDS Church and its beliefs could have influenced Mitt Romney’s decisions as President of the United States.

    Well, Gordon Smith, a former Senator from Oregon, stated that one of the reasons that he voted to authorize the Iraq war was because he felt that after the war with Iraq that that country and other Arab countries might be opened to the Church’s missionary work. It was ok to kill nearly 5,000 US soldiers and maim and seriously injury more than 300,000. What a price to pay for opening new missions.



  13. Gained much insight in to Mike’s motivations from this interview, clearly entirely sincere…great interview!
    RE prophesies from D&C that did not come to pass…didn’t JS say “this generation shall not pass before the return of Jesus” ? Paraphrasing here. Well….splain that !
    Also, on why just being a “good” organization is not enough of a reason to participate and stay a member. The church doesn’t call itself a “good” organization, it says repeatedly ” this is the only true church on the face of the earth”… ‘God’s Kingdom on earth”. Those kind of statements were always hard for me to listen to. There in only one reason to be a part of an organization like this for me, which is, because it is what it claims to be. When everything it stands on collapses under scrutiny, that was it for me. Being based on such exclusivity only leads to being judgmental and insular, which are not the hallmarks of a good organization for me.

  14. Hi, Mike! Just loved your interview. You seem to be a great person. While many of us are so absorbed in our own problems, including myself, you are going the second mile to bring truth to light and save lives.
    I would question your methods if I hadn’t been in the position of being seated in the endowment ceremony, on my wedding day, and being asked if I wanted to leave before having the covenants explained to me. I would question your methods if the only true church in the face of the world was honest about its history, past teachings, finances and operations. I would question your methods if I hadn’t made the most crucial decisions in my life based on fear and lies. I would question your methods if the Church was able to pass a temple recommend interview, which it cannot.
    As a truth seeker like yourself, as though as it bothers me that you have to use extreme measures, after listening to your interview I feel, more than ever, that you are very much needed.
    Thanks for sharing your story
    A big hug from Brazil

  15. When did the Ceremony changed from “slighting the throat” to “raising the hand”?

    I went through my temple ceremonies in 1994 and did not witnessed that. In fact, I have notice little to no change in the performance of the ceremonies ever since and I have visited temples in US, Latin America, Canada and France. I was more shocked with my first experience with the culture of “completely naked” locker rooms in the US than with the “simple tunic” part of the endowments ceremony.

    The change is not a big deal anyway since it is all symbolic.

    Had Mike/Noah bother to put the time to read the Old Testament in seminary or institute, he would have found more “shocking” behavior from other prophets of God, even worst that those alleged to have been perpetrated by Joseph Smith and then leave the church even earlier… I admit, at times I feel frustrated by how neglectful most LDS people are with regards to scripture study today.

    I wonder what Mike/Noah uses nowadays as a “moral compass”; based on the behavior he confess to engage in these videos it must be a very defective one.

    Also if Mike still believe in God, does he also believe in the existence of Satan?

    1. The changes occurred in 1990. I can attest that having done the endowment ceremony many times pre 1990 that we not only pantomimed slitting our throats but also slicing our chest open and disembowling ours selves too

  16. I’v e only finished the first part but what really gets me about these folks who find out Mormonism is untrue, is that they have done lots of research on one religion and then stop their research. I went through a lot of researching and found the church untrue and Smith a fraud. I at first believed in Jesus, still, but after some study I termed myself a deist, but I didn’t stop researching. Instead I took online college courses on the old and new testaments and learned how Jesus became god or rather how he came to be thought of god by his followers. I am now going through a course on the Darwinian revolution.

    Mike showed his wife that Mormonism came down to either good feelings and testimony or evidence form many scientific fields, but it seems like he stopped since he said that he believes in a higher power or a god or maybe he is a deist. If he practices what he preaches, he will continue to study about Jesus and Judaism and Christianity, and the history of all Bible based religions.

    Scientific evidence, especially the study of natural election, along with a lot of history, shows me that the belief in a higher power is based on testimony and good feelings.

    The existence of god cannot be disproved. The existence of a higher power, for me, may not be impossible but it is highly improbable.

    My next course to order will be about learning about the world’s religions and why they are different and similar. All former Mormons need to learn about all religions and why man seems to rely on a religion.

  17. I had a bit of a difficult time listening to the 3rd part of this podcast. Yes, Mike Norton’s tactics may seem too bold and deceitful to TBM”s and even some ex Mormon’s as well, but his tactics pale in comparison to the way, the church has manipulated me and other’s, by Their Tactics. I was converted to the Mormon faith through a dear friend sharing when she shared with me how much joy the church had brought her. Yes, the church brought me joy too, for many years, but finding out 32 years later that the church’s truth claims were not what they said they were, was devastating to me. No matter how much goodness that may go on within the Mormon church, it plain and simple does not mean a thing when you find out the depth of deception, not only the dishonesty that came from Joseph Smith, Brigham Young etc, but the lies that are continually covered up by the Mormon church. That is far worse than anything Mike Norton has done and I would’ve given anything to know what the Temple Ceremony was like before I decided to go through it. I wished I would have had the guts to run out of the Temple the first time I went though it, and pantomimed slitting my throat, but I didn’t. I trusted the people I went through with, but I should’ve trusted myself. So again, Mike Norton’s ways may seem outlandish to some, but it would’ve been nice to have an insight about what the Mormon Temple endowment session was really like, instead of believing that it would be one of the best and most spiritual experiences of my life.

  18. As long as the church continues to be homophobic, sexist, racist, and outdated (eg strict law of chastity for adult single members) it is HARMFUL and cannot be considered benign.

  19. Mike / New Name Noah
    I was greatly moved by your interviews. I had (mistakenly) thought of you as an ex-mormon with a chip on his shoulder trying to embarrass the LDS church.
    I was uncomfortable with your “methods” of taping temple ceremonies. After listening to you, I could tell your motives were truly from your heart. I believe you are doing a great service to expose the LDS church for what it is – a multibillion dollar corporation, homophobic, misogynist, family-dividing institution with untrue faith claims. You have shown the temple rites for what they are, ridiculously Masonic inspired ceremonies that ensure tithing revenue and the “exclusive club” membership. Don’t “Ignore the Man behind the curtain” – instead expose what a fraud it is. Your video on Savanna was a game changer. It shows the LDS church for what it does to LGBTQ youth. THANK YOU

  20. Good episode. Personally, I don’t find the temple ceremonies that odd. I’ve been to churches where my elementary teachers went running to the podium screaming that freaked me out a lot more. Mike’s form of scholarship and I do view it as a form of scholarship is a bit unsettling. For example, I think if a bishop were to release videos of interviews and confessionals with the faces blocked out, I would be outraged. Yeah, this is different but it’s also similar. People have a reasonable expectation of privacy. I think I would be uncomfortable having him in my home or wanting him to be knowledgeable of any of my families business.

  21. Mike, you were allowed to enter the temple, so it would not constitute a burglary. You obtained the washing script when it was handed to you, so no theft. Possible state criminal statutes violated would be forgery in relation to the creation of the recommend. Communications fraud and criminal trespass for the way you entered the temple. Due to a lack of your monitory gain, and the potential for negative lds press, I think charges would not be likely.

  22. New Name Noah- I think you may be my Hero !!! That was awesome. Your like the Dirty Harry of Post Mo. seriously I think for tactics reach people other don’t. You are Amazing I’m now a big fan.

  23. I went to “The Temple” (as Mormons think of it) for the first time in 1989 as a single woman at the age of 32, just before the “penalties” were eliminated in the early 90s. I had joined the LDS church in 1971 at the age of 14, and by that time, 18 years later, I was so deeply indoctrinated and invested in the religion that it took me the next 15 years to figure out that something was seriously wrong.

    I don’t like surprises, so I did my best to find out everything I could about what was going to happen — I did the temple preparation classes, read all the literature I could find about it, and talked with other members and listened to everything they were willing to tell me. I was still unprepared, but if there was any “cognitive dissonance”, it was so deeply suppressed that I wasn’t even aware of it. Of course it was a beautiful experience. It was The Temple. It couldn’t be otherwise, and if so, I couldn’t admit it to myself or anyone else.

    I now feel that it’s wrong for them to keep it a secret until you’re there. That invites speculation. People imagine all sorts of things, but they still don’t know what they’re getting into when they’re given the opportunity to “back out” before the really serious parts of the ceremony begin, and most don’t have the nerve to do that anyway, usually in the presence of many of their LDS family and friends. Yes there’s a difference between “sacred” and “secret”, but I had never realized that the two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive until I listened to this podcast.

    I found the video of the temple ceremony on YouTube several years ago, after I had left the church. So on a Saturday morning while my still TBM husband was at the temple without me, I got to experience the temple ceremony again as a former member. It brought up some interesting emotions, not all of them unpleasant. Nostalgia, for one. But I’ve often wondered what effect that video would have had on me if I had seen it before I went to the temple for the first time myself, or even before I joined the church. In my case, of course, it didn’t yet exist at those times.

    BTW, I failed the temple recommend interview about half a dozen times in 2004 because I have an open mind about the other religions of the world and I was honest about it in the interviews. That was the “straw the broke the camel’s back”, and the main reason that I finally resigned from the LDS church when I did.

    I have tried, not always successfully, to respect the religion my husband still belongs to since I left, and for the most part, I have not been the one to reveal things about the temple to people who don’t already know, but I’m glad someone did.

    Thanks Mike. As the old saying goes, “it was a dirty job but someone had to do it.”

  24. Not sure why but I’m finding it tough to believe a lot of Mike Norton. The story of his faith crisis seems more a contrived and common “faith crisis” amalgamation with a personal touch definitely lacking. The spontaneous recovery from Parkinson’s disease didn’t help. Need to listen to 2-3. Hope it gets better.

    1. “Not sure why but I’m finding it tough to believe a lot of Mike Norton.”

      It’s a good thing he video recorded some of his story and put it on youtube . . . . : )

  25. Sorry John
    Bad feeling about this guy . I was right with him on the LGTB issues and the way his temple exposure visits saved lives . But the whole taking on an other mans identity and carelessly saying he exposed him ,, this man seems far too wreckless and Just seems a little unhinged . I don’t think this podcast will assist sane stable questioners to come out too easily .

  26. This guy has blown his credibility in the last pod 3 . How did he know blow by blow the conversation between the wife and 22 thousand dollar tithing guy . ???? After he got his fake recommend . I’m going to boldly say This guy is a sensationalist and an opertunist . John this is a dodgy podcast .

    1. Regardless of whether or not Mike himself is a sensationalist and an opportunist, and regardless of whether or not he told 100% of “the truth” in these interviews, I remember the temple endowment ceremony well enough to say with confidence that the video he put on YouTube around 5 years ago was a true and fair representation of what goes on in LDS temples (you can’t make this stuff up), and for that I still thank him. And I thank John for having the courage to interview someone so controversial, even if everything that was said in this podcast was or was not literally “true”, and even if the end result did turn out a bit “dodgy”.

      It can’t be any worse than the Book of Mormon, and nobody’s perfect 🙂

      I look forward to viewing Mike’s other more recent YouTube videos when I get a chance to do so.

      1. I went through the temple in 1986, was a missionary during said ceremony, and yes, the ceremony depiction is accurate. I don’t have any problem with it being on YouTube neither. It’s not that. It’s Mike Norton personally. My skeptical sirens are blaring and many yellow flags are up as he relates his experience. I agree with John, the sensational and opportunist flavor permeates the entire presentation, and it has nothing to do with Mormonism.

        1. Totally agree. But I think having been around the exmo boards for as long as I have made me a Mike Norton skeptic. Too many unhinged attacks and jerky behavior to believe this is all being done because he loves too much.

          I’m so annoyed that the whole Mitt Romney thing didn’t get pushed back on by John Dehlin. John, ask him if you can watch it and then you can confirm its existence to the rest of us.

          Waiting for John Dehlin to interview Samuel the Utahnite now.

  27. I was struck that Mike’s first wife’s temple experience was nearly identical to my own. I was devout, BYU and seminary graduate, doctrinally well read and completely unprepared for the washing and anointing. It deeply disturbed me and induced mild panic the time, and subsequently, nightmares. It was 25 years ago and I can still picture the old woman hissing the ceremonial words at me while she and the other women touched me. Like Mike’s wife, I felt completely betrayed by all of the people in my life who had pushed me to the temple and had promised me that it was a beautiful place, including my husband-to-be. Also like Mike’s wife, I got married and then never went back to the temple. Shelf breaker. For the church to change its ceremony suggests that there are many more out there just like us.

    1. I have never been back to the temple since the washing and anointing ceremony was changed, but if I understand correctly, the changes made were very wise. You can’t raise people in a culture of “modesty” the way the LDS church does, and then expect them to be ok with the way they used to do it. Even so, and even as modest as I was and still am in everyday life, I got used to it. It seems incredible now to think about how much power they had over me.

      I’m half tempted to ask Mike to forge me a temple recommend just so I can see what it would be like to “go through” the temple nowadays… 🙂

  28. Very cool guy and hes right on.
    Even after knowing everything that all of you know I still am so curious how the book of Mormon came about, its still the converter to the faith. my sons on a mission and people still feel it. I know the church uses the good spirits of these young men and women to convert but Im like some others, crazy as it sounds, something behind the book of Mormon that noone can explain, aside from the false history. I think Im with M. Quinn on this. I do not attend church more than once a month and never go to any functions, its only a social place to hang your hat in davis county utah.

    Keep it up brother!

  29. I came into the interview with an open mind (I think) but come away disliking Mike’s methods and personality even more than before.

    1) This is just crazy that Mike Norton says he has a temple video of Mitt Romney and barely gets called out for it? His answer is he’s afraid of getting sued? Yet earlier he brags about how badly he wants the church to sue him because of the bad publicity it’d garner? Complete bull and it’s crazy that John didn’t even ask him about it (someone from the audience did).

    How about this… I trust John… have Mike show the video to John and John can either confirm or deny seeing it. I think most people trust John enough to know he wouldn’t lie about seeing it… it’d go a long way towards establishing cred. As it is I think people that know Mike and his history don’t give him many benefits of the doubt.

    2) Juxtapose Mike’s final “beliefs” with how he treated that Stake President dude on the phone (it’s on his YouTube channel). His beliefs are that we need more love in the world. He believes in love. Go to that call and it’s immediate aggression. His first line mocks the SP for his lack of discernment, making a “must be masturbating joke.” That joke was so good he made it at least twice. His final line he calls the SP a “p**sy.” There’s the man that loves.

    I know he says this particular SP wasn’t a good guy, so go ahead and listen to pretty much any interaction he has with faithful mormons… it’s always the same mocking, aggressive tone. Check his appearances on the Chris Brake Show podcast for good examples. He’s more often than not the aggressive and mocking jerk looking for a fight. We are to believe 75% of people that talk to him come away converted to his point of view. Pardon me if I’m skeptical.

    3) Thank you John for at least pushing back on this whole “I do it for LGBT rights” narrative. Mike Norton did all of this before being an LGBT advocate was the ultimate moral high ground for exmos. Go check his old podcast, from what I recall LGBTQ rights had very little to do with his motivations. Yet if you listened to him in his Mormon Stories interviews that’s what he’s all about and it pretty much justifies anything. Shouldn’t we be pushing back on someone that publicly threatened to punch Dallin H Oaks if he sees him publicly?

    Question for John… I’m sure you don’t like people hijacking your website and message boards with their agendas. Yet someone like Mike can infiltrate a Mormon ward, make a complete mockery of a fast/testimony meeting, cause good ward members just doing their ward callings extra needless work… and we semi praise Mike for making change? You kept making these caveats that you don’t necessarily agree with Mike’s tactics and promised to push back on some of them, but other than the whole LGBT thing I didn’t hear much. I would really like an honest take from you on Mike, his methods, and your honest opinions of his body of work. Without that I take this Mormon Stories interview as a tactic endorsement of Mike Norton.

    I’m a semi-active, non-believing mormon who would likely never attend except for family issues. I do love the community. I have always found Mike a mean person and find myself even more disgusted with him after listening to this whole interview. It was interesting, yes. But in a way that leaves me feeling disgusted.

    1. Study Asperger’s. It’ll make more sense. Mike doesn’t understand any perspective besides his own.

      People protect adults with Asperger’s because it’s a disability, but they’re often abusive. They think they’re always right but they don’t have access to a lot of social information.

      Sure, they have bar code obsessions and are often intelligent, but there’s more to it than that.

  30. John— With all due respect, I hope that you will pursue additional clinical training in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Your interviewing of and responses to Mike (and your own perseveration on points you hoped to make in repeatedly challenging him on questions asked AND answered) reflects poor understanding of the considerations that need to be given for ALL people with strengths and weaknesses — including individuals with diagnoses of ASD (e.g. Asperger’s).

      1. Thank you for your invitation to share more about what I intended (and still intend) to be taken as constructive feedback. What did you say about ASD? Nothing, that I recall. I didn’t mean to imply that you said anything about ASD. My comment was more a personal reaction to my own impatience with Part 3 of this interview. From my perspective, your questions to Mike were often redundant, and frequently asked with an impatient, judgmental, or dismissive quality (e.g. repetitive questioning regarding his “(harsh) tactics”; trying to hurry Mike along, or cutting him off when he was trying to share his experiences). It seemed to me that you often kept asking the same question, albeit in different ways, because you were frustrated by Mike’s answers, which WERE often tangential and repetitive as well.

        What I DID mean to convey in my comment about ASD (Asperger’s, in particular), was that this interview would have likely gone much more smoothly if you had written (or revised mid-interview) your questions, based on an understanding of the social communication and cognitive processing issues that are often associated with Asperger’s Syndrome.

        I invite you to obtain a transcript of this interview, and highlight the responses/answers that Mike gave that left you frustrated, impatient, or feeling like he was “off track” throughout the interview. Then go back and examine the question that YOU asked, which prompted each response. You may notice that you often asked your questions in a way that someone with rigid, literal, linear, black and white thinking patterns and/or difficulties with executive functioning (e.g. attention/concentration to multiple simultaneous details) would really struggle with. For example, consider your question that literally takes from 47:33-49:16 in Part 3 for you to “set up” and (finally) ask. Holy Compound Question! …Without pausing for sentence/thought completion! Notice how Mike’s response does not really even touch the question you were asking (or the point you were trying to make.) Rather, Mike starts talking about the fine people he knows in Mormonism. I don’t judge him for his tangent. In fact, at one point I, too, lost track of your point/question – including how you had prefaced it with: “There are a lot of progressive, liberal Mormons these days that would say to you…” About a minute into it, I thought YOU were telling Mike to “Get over the binary worldview…” Is it possible that Mike has difficulty thinking about the world (or the church) in non-binary ways or in terms of symbolic truth? Figurative, mythical, metaphorical, and HYPOTHETICAL ways of thinking about the world OR communicating his ideas may not be his strength. So, I think that your interviewing style may have been difficult for Mike…and probably for a lot of people, frankly. I give Mike a ton of credit for his willingness to share his story, for his composure, and for his best efforts to answer the questions posed.

        …Sorry if that’s not what you meant when you asked me to share in more detail! 🙂

    1. I say the same back to you. Study more about adults with Asperger’s. The mental health community treats them with kid gloves because they qualify for a diagnosis while some of their families live in hell, and the courts and the criminal justice system try to figure out how to hold them accountable.

      If you have a child with Aaperger’s consider how things will change as he moves into the adult world. Not everyone can be there for him the way a mom is.

      It’s a problem.

      1. Yes, there are challenges. I have one (adult) son and one pre-teen son on the Spectrum. I am intimately aware of how a mother vs. “others” treat situations that arise for individuals/families with ASD. It can be incredibly difficult and painful. I know.

        Before becoming a Mom, (and after), I studied extensively and know something about the issues related to ASD. I have worked for 20+ years (on a professional and personal) basis, with individuals with ASD. It helps to remember to relate to each person, with individual strengths and weaknesses in mind. I know that I, too, hope for this kind of consideration when others relate to me. We all do.

        1. Does your children’s dad have Asperger’s? It has a genetic component. That would make sense if you have two kids with ASD.

          Typically developing family members can get lost in defending this stuff to the detriment of the ASD members who need to be directly held accountable because they don’t have social perception skills to help them understand when they’re hurting people. A lot of them are abusive.

          It’s not healthy for a wife to defend that. Not healthy for you or them.

          1. Wait,,,

            I said something false. A lot of them do know when they’re hurting someone. They understand that emotional emotional expressions of pain mean that others are hurt.

            The issue is that since their perspective is the only one they understand and their pain is the only pain they feel (because their brains don’t give them immediate access to others’ pain), they justify their wrongdoings.

            So, basically, they get it and they don’t care and then people defend them because they have a diagnosis while the people they hurt cope wth the abuse.

            Wives who defend this are in an unhealthy spiral. It’s common for abuse victims to defend the people who hurt them. Defending it because of a diagnosis is a new, 21st century manifestation of an old problem. It’s like Stockholm syndrome.

            Anyway, I suppose the church deserves its own encounter with an Aspie.., they’ve been marrying little girls off to them in their smokes for decades. This is their just recompense. At least they’re not married to Mike and they aren’t trying to raise his ASD children.

          2. *temples (not smokes).

            What I didn’t say clearly (and auto-correct), is that the church has been marrying little girls off to men with Asperger’s in temples for decades and then leaving the girls to cope with it alone while priesthood leaders advise the girls to obey and stay.

            The church therefore deserves their own encounter with an Asperger’s foe. Can’t be nearly as difficult as what the many young girls have had to cope with at home.

            So go Mike, I guess. But ladies….. Don’t marry him. You’ll regret it.

  31. Mike Norton continually tries to portray him self as an A typical Mormon growing up. No Mike, most missionaries don’t make out with girls on their missions. No Mike, most missionaries don’t break the law and detach the speedometer on the mission car. No Mike, the typical LDS youth does not try smoking cigarettes. I am sure your a nice guy Mike but you where not the typical Mormon youth. Did mormon youth do those things. Yes I know they have but its not the typical thing they do. And no, I don’t know how many baptisms I had on my mission. I’m only 31 min into this interview and I can hardly wait to hear what ells Mike tries to assert. I am glad John pointed out the fact how hard Mike tries to make him self out to be the average Mormon. I wonder as well why he is so compelled to do so.

  32. I’m really sad that he told a 13-yo girl what the most important moments of her life are and what the purpose of her existence is. There is no way he knows that.

    Savannah, if you read this, please know that nobody can tell you what your meaning in life is. I am pro-LGBT and pro-straight and pro-child and pro-people. I believe in empowering others and part of you finding yourself and your own empowerment is you finding your own meaning and life mission. The church can’t do it for you. Your parents can’t do it for you and Mike Norton can’t do it for you.

    Only you can do it for you. Use your own head. Trust in yourself.

    Much love and respect,


  33. I’ve had a very bad opinion of Mike for a long time and because I’m so sickened by his inability to see the perspective of the many people he is harming while he constantly claims he is doing great good. I only wanted to see a bit of how he converses in the real world so I jumped through the podcast and watched his facial expressions and listened to his tone of voice, etc.

    Frankly, my opinion of him has gone up. He may be acting this way because he has Asperger’s. That’s a better explanation than the alternatives. Meaning, that’s better than straight a**hole. At least it’s a**hole with an explanation. That said, a lot of bad things happen to other people when adults with autism take it upon themselves to fix things without having the perspective-taking abilities to recognize that their lies are obvious and without the understanding why their solutions don’t make a ton of sense to other people.

    It helps to get a record of them talking because watching all the way through (not going to waste my time, but speaking in general) helps people see the problems and inconsistencies. Based on the comments, it looks like the record worked.

    1. Good points.

      Anybody that can sit around making bar codes – whew. I’ll just say, you don’t want to be in his line of sight when he gets bored with making bar codes.

      I do note one trait Mike and John Dehlin share. They are both tenacious. I don’t know if any amount of criticism could stop either from pursuing their vision.

      John took a lot of grief about being an active mormon when he knew the damage the faith was doing – but he stuck to his path until the time was right. Mike has been the same. Perhaps some of the recognition he is getting will encourage him to pull his behavior a little bit more towards the mainstream. But I think both Mike and John are tenacious and close to unstoppable.

  34. How did he have a cell phone with a camera in it taking pictures of temple recommend bar codes at Beehive Clothing in 2005?


    1. Yes, that struck me as a whopper too. Two other stories that made me think he was mixing fact with big dose of fiction were the story about him and the Jr. high bully and the story about the $22k demand from the church for tithing. I want to believe the Parkinson’s cure story, but once l started getting skeptical with his other claims, I am inclined to disbelieve that as well.

  35. Wow I come back to see if someone may have replied to my comment—and it appears my comment was deleted! So much for open dialogue….

  36. Thank you for this interview with Mike Norton. I am glad that Mike has documented the temple ceremonies online since it forces their craziness into public light, and TBMs and LDS church leaders can no longer publicly pretend that the ceremonies are innocuous and normal. I get that some people find the obtaining and posting of the videos to be unethical and offensive; however, the videos stop the LDS church from gaslighting former members who found the temple experience to be traumatic, and they also properly educate investigators and unendowed members on the craziness that they’re getting themselves into.

  37. I was in the LDS church for over 30 years of my life. In all of those 30 years, I never once heard a woman say that she loved relief society, so I find it interesting that the men love elders quorum.

    When I was pregnant with my second baby my ex-husband was out of work so we needed some help from the church. I will never forget walking around in the cemeteries in Alabama in the middle of summer being six, seven, eight, and nine months pregnant writing down every name and date from every headstone. That’s what I had to do to earn the help I received! (Which included a lot of rotten vegetables.)
    A good friend of mine who had several young children needed a gallon of milk and went to her bishop and asked for a gallon of milk, that was all she wanted. And he Refused. That’s how the church helps, it doesn’t.

    Mike Norton is an amazing person and I loved hearing everything he had to say. I love how he tackles a bully, and the church is a bully. I was not impressed with John on this 3rd episode. I think if the Mormon church would take John back he would be there in a heartbeat!

    The TRUTH is more important to ME than ANYTHING the church ever did for me. I wouldn’t have been in a very abusive marriage if it wasn’t for the church and the lies about so-called worthy priesthood holders and temple marriage. I unknowingly married a Mormon psychopath when I was at only 18 years old. My life has been forever shaped by the fact that I had so many children. I didn’t find out the church wasn’t true until I was pregnant with my fifth baby. Then I was finally able to leave my ex and to be a divorced mom trying to make it on my own with no education or job experience. Thanks a lot LDS church, I hope the truth comes out fully and in a big way, and reaches everyone, even if it takes Mike Norton and people like him to do it.

  38. Although I have not familiarized myself with all of Mike’s videos, I personally support any truthful videos that Mike posts of the temple sessions and that he posted Savannah’s video. I do not support keeping an allegiance to any oaths of secrecy to an entity that, through fraud and coercion, convinces people to agree to. I am a supporter of every person that shares information that exposes the fraudulent nature of the church. Lies and misconduct lose their power when they are exposed and the more they become exposed the less they can be ignored. Truth and actions set people free.

    Change doesn’t come easy and it is always different strokes for different folks. I acknowledge that Mike’s tactics will cause some people to dig their heels in deeper into Mormonism. However, the more information that gets out there now the better it is for future generations to rid themselves of the bonds from the previous generations.

  39. In regard to the argument that the church does so much good, I would like to comment about how I see this scenario. A child predator grooms his victims by being the child’s friend, by making the child feel special and giving the child gifts. These things confuse the child’s understanding of what the predator is doing to the child. These things feel good to the child. These things seem good but in reality, the child is also being molested. The church is no different. It has to offer some cookies or no one would partake. There are no good intentions behind the actions of the top leaders of the church. All that they do, that is perceived to be good, is done to maintain the scam. In most tales of the Devil, he always entices people with offers of things they want in order to rob them of their souls.

    1. Exactly this! Thank you so much for putting it this way. It is like saying, well… the mass murderer killed 50 people, but he also worked at a soup kitchen on the weekends! It doesn’t matter what good has been done when there is BLOOD on the church’s hands. I’m all about forgiveness, but how can there even be a reconcilliation, forgiving, or healing when the church is not even sorry for what it has done and continues to do?

  40. While John Dehlin was recording the conversation with Mike Norton, was Mike Norton secretly recording Dehlin recording Norton? Did Dehlin have another recording device hidden in order to secretly record Norton secretly recording him openly recording Norton, as a little bit of friendly one-up-manship?

  41. I think the church asks too much commitment of its investigators and members before disclosing enough information to them. This is true of historical inaccuracies and certainly true of the temple rituals. I don’t think either of my sisters would have stayed in the church as growing teens if they would have known more about the temple before going. Both of them hated the experience and tried to avoid having to go back. I believe they only returned for sealings when the rest of us got married.

    In this regard I think it’s good the videos were taken, though I know how offensive that feels to members. However, investigators should be able to go see this stuff before they commit. I wish my own investigators had researched the church better before joining. I wish I would have researched it more before going on a mission, but the internet was young when I went. I’m glad it just takes a few words in google now to see all the problems that exist. If god didn’t want the videos out there, he should have exercised some power and stopped it 😉 he seemed more than capable of killing people in the scriptures when it suited him.

  42. Shawn McCraney used to explain the reasoning for his own harsh tone and tactics during the first couple years of his ministry. Basically he explained that he intentionally used the harsh tone interacting with tbm’s to shake them up and get their attention. It would be interesting to hear Mike’s take on Shawn’s reasoning.

  43. Loved this episode. I have followed Mike a bit on reddit and appreciate the lengths he goes to to help people understand what TSCC is all about. His commitment to that is admirable even if I would not do that same.

    There was point that really resonated with me, it was when Mike said he could not look his wife in the eyes while telling her what he had learned about TSCC.

    I had the same experienced when I told a family member that I no longer believed that the church was true. At the time I felt like there must be something wrong with me that I couldn’t boldly look her in the eye and declare what I now knew to be true. Isn’t that what we have all been taught? Eye contact equals truth.


    John could likely shed more light on the psychology of the issue. As for me I have concluded that it is difficult to share something that you feel will not be well received. I now see my inability to look her in the eye as a defense mechanism on my part. Anyone who leaves TSCC knows that there will be fallout from that decision, years and years of indoctrination are difficult to overcome.

  44. John,

    The question you kept asking Mike about the church doing good was interesting. In the cases you highlighted: HT/VT helping a member, missionaries spreading the gospel, etc. it is not TSCC doing the good. That is members doing good, and in most cases using their own resources to do that good. Missionaries pay to go on missions, they give up important time in their own lives to share the gospel. HT/VT use their own time and often money to help others.

    TSCC has leaders who direct others in how to live their lives, they may or may not be living that way themselves. The members are not to criticize them or question their authority. The Q15 are celebrated and “given a break.”

    As a member who truly believed and tried to live as I felt I should, I will say I learned some good principles from my years in the church. Too bad the top tier in TSCC do not feel the need to walk the walk, but they sure can talk the talk.

  45. John,
    I am a little late getting to this one but I just finished it and I wanted to say that I too was very disappointed with the way you treated Mike in this interview. I don’t know how I feel about what Mike does, but I felt bad for him the whole time I was listening to all three parts of this interview. You were just plain rude and condescending. So much so that it made me feel very uncomfortable. You would have never talked to someone like Greg Prince (or someone else of his status) that way. You treated Mike like he was a child and way beneath you. I haven’t listened to all of your interviews but I have listened to a many and I don’t think I’ve every heard you talk down to someone as much as you did in this interview. If you feel such disdain for someone you just shouldn’t have them on your program. I have been a regular contributor to Mormon Stories for the past couple of years but this episode made me have second thoughts about that. I hope that you’ll do better in the future.

  46. I think Mike is a very brave individual. To the people who are “offended” by his tactics… I say this to you: – My ENTIRE life and the life of my children, the life of my family for generations in the past and generations to come were and are based on COMPLETE LIES that the LDS church KNEW and KNOW are lies…. yet they (from my birth and for 40 years that I was an active member) weekly and at times daily fed me and my children and other extended family members false information and lies that not only formed our ways of thinking, believing, living, and understanding the world around us… but also instilled a fake sense of safety and community that completely disappeared for me and my children when we started to ask questions. Essentially we were abandoned by the group/organization that we had GIVEN AND DEDICATED OUR LIVES TO! There are enourmous psychological, monetary, physical, and spiritual effects on me and my children and family due to these lies that continue to ripple throughout our lives – including learning to trust our own thoughts after a LIFETIME of learning how to doubt our doubts instead of the lies that were being fed to us as truth. Because of the “teachings” and mind-sets of doctrine, scriptures, and leaders of the church, there have been people in my family and ancestral lineage who have behaved in ways (condoned and taught by the church) that were abusive, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and down right against everything I ever knew and believed about what was kind and good about Jesus Christ. The church, the leaders, and the false doctrines of the LDS church along with all the rest of its lies helped to give justifications and “reasonings” behind the heinous behaviors which created generations of abuse and mistreatment in my family. It created irrepairable damage and mindests of abusive patricarchy, sexual deviation, misogynistic abuse, and so many other horrible corrupted ways of thinking/reasoning that is still continuing in my family. Women, men, and children for generations in my own family have suffered enourmousely because of these lies and mindests, beliefs, lies, and doctorines. There were and have been some beautiful things that the church gave to me and my children, HOWEVER the DAMAGES FAR OUT WEIGHT any good that came from it. It essentially shattered my world in the end when I discovered the truth (ON MY OWN). HOW ON EARTH can there be any kind of sympathy for the blatant and even small lies over someone’s lifetime that effects their entire life let alone generations of family pain and abuse directly caused because of some of the churches mindsets and teachings? It would be one thing if the church was even willing to make changes and to apologize for what they have done and caused and to STOP doing it… but they won’t and aren’t. I am tired of everyone tip-toeing around the enormity of the damage that has been caused in thousands of lives. I am one of the people who don’t have it in me (due to the lack of self confidence that was instilled in me BECAUSE OF THE CHURCH that I am still trying to heal) who are not brave enough to do what Mike is doing…. and I for one, thank him for doing what he is doing. Someone had to do it and it is needed. What the church is doing and what it has done since its inception is a crime against humanity and they need to be held accountable just like anyone else would who injures others KNOWINGLY. I don’t just have this opinion towards the LDS church either, I believe that any cult, church, or organization (including governments) who are doing things to harm other humans should be held accountable for fraud, deceiving, lying, abusive behaviors, stealing, brainwashing, and withholding information from the general public be brought to justice. I agree with what Mike said, extreme times, call for extreme measures. Enough is enough. If Mike’s tactics can even save ONE person or ONE family from going through what my family has gone through because of the Mormon church, let alone generations of families…. it is worth it.

  47. If this guy had put as much focus into curing diseases as he has with this nonsense , cancer and aids would simply be an afterthought at this point. The church has been living rent free in this guys head for a long time.

  48. There are a lot of Mormon Stories out there that are great, but this is my favorite! Delightful and funny and so straightforward. Especially enjoy the calling out of all the changes in and issues with the D&C. When I started studying the Church evidence, it was the same as you — I was reading for 12 hours a day, staying up until 4 AM every night and neglecting my job to do more research… it was fascinating and infuriating and I couldn’t think of anything else. I had no appetite(s), and I didn’t need to sleep.

    This is such a fun episode. Thanks “Noah” for your journey and sharing.

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